So, we have our Hobey Hat Trick, and I successfully named two out of three members of the 2009 group.
But come on…I got all three last year. This is a step backwards for your humble correspondent.
In my defense, I will say that I didn’t see nearly as much college hockey this season as I did in the past four, which I look forward to changing next season (the adjustment to the post-CSTV era was a little rough in that department). However, I am pretty well surprised by my failure to get that third member of the Hat Trick.
To be fair, though, who really saw Brad Thiessen coming?
Really, writing him off after the Huskies fell short of the Dodge Holiday Classic Title, the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular-season title, the Hockey East tournament final, and the second reound of the NCAA Tournament…well, it kind of made sense. I mean, I know people were goofing on my Northwestern-Northeastern typo in the last blog entry (insert Big Ten Hockey Conference joke here), but when the chips were down this season, Thiessen may as well have been playing for Northwestern as for Northeastern for all the good it did.
However, at the same time, the simple fact remains that without Brad Thiessen, the Huskies don’t sniff any of those titles, and the fact that Thiessen was able to get Northeastern as far as he did is testament to his performance this season.
If I still think Jacques Lamoureux is a better candidate for the Hobey – arguably one of the best candidates for the award, as defined by the official criteria, that there’s been in quite some time – well, that’s something to think about for the next two years, since we all know that he’s not going to be leaving school early. In the meantime, Thiessen’s in the Hobey Hat Trick, and Hockey East has a lock on the top three spots.
(Can I get an “EAST COAST BIAS!!” from the WCHA congregation?)
I’ve got to be honest; I never thought I’d see that happen. I didn’t think it would happen three years ago, when the CSTV panel (incorrectly) picked Ryan Potulny, Brian Elliott and Matt Carle for the Hat Trick. I really don’t know what to make of this, except that with a 2-0 advantage on teams in the Frozen Four, a 4-3 advantage on NCAA tournament teams, a 4-1 advantage on Hobey Baker finalists, and a 3-0 advantage in the Hobey Hat Trick, Hockey East has certainly, in its 25th Anniversary Season, given the WCHA fans something to think about for the next six months until the 2009-10 season starts.
But enough of that. Now that we have three players in the Hat Trick, it’s time to figure out who’s going to win.
Well, that’s easy.
Congratulations, Matt Gilroy.
As I’ve already written, the fact that Gilroy got the Walter Brown Award over Colin Wilson is a pretty solid indication that the Hobey voting would go the same way. And then there’s Thiessen, and I think that while Northeastern’s aforementioned futility in championship situations this season wasn’t enough to keep Thiessen out of the Hat Trick, he won’t stand up next to Gilroy, a (soon-to-be) three-time All-American defenseman and captain of the Hockey East regular-season and tournament champions, not to mention the favorite for next week’s Frozen Four. Oh, and then there’s that whole “turned down 23 NHL contract offers to come back for his senior year” thing, which makes a big impact in the current climate in college hockey.
Of course, I haven’t been right about everything this season, so I could still be wrong about this.
However, to sum it up, I will say, as the kids do these days…